Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Deutsche Bank, Bank of America settle agency bond rigging lawsuits. Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp agreed to pay a combined $65.5 million to settle investor litigation accusing large banks of rigging the roughly $9 trillion government agency bond market over a decade. Preliminary settlements totaling $48.5 million for Deutsche Bank and $17 million for Bank of America were filed on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and require a judge’s approval. The settlements were the first in litigation accusing 10 banks of engaging in a “brazen conspiracy” to rig the market for U.S. dollar-denominated supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds, court papers show.
Slim’s America Movil Wins Telecom Battle in Top Mexico Court. Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled billionaire Carlos Slim’s telecommunications company America Movil should not be barred by law from charging competitors certain fees, prompting fears of a rollback of a sweeping antitrust reform. The 2014 telecom industry reform, one of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s signature accomplishments, prohibited America Movil from charging other carriers for calls made to customers on its network, even though those firms are allowed to bill America Movil for using their networks.
U.S. Pension Funds Sue Goldman, JPMorgan, Others Over Stock Lending Market. Three U.S. pension funds sued six of the world’s largest banks on Thursday, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JP Morgan Chase & Co, accusing them of conspiring to stifle competition in the more than $1 trillion stock lending market. In the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court, the funds accused the banks of boycotting start-up lending platforms by threatening and intimidating their potential clients. The defendants include Bank of America Corp, Credit Suisse AG, Morgan Stanley, UBS AG, Goldman and JP Morgan.
Air Berlin assets to go to more than one buyer: German government official. A senior German government official was quoted as saying on Thursday that the assets of insolvent Air Berlin could not be bought by any one competitor due to regulatory reasons. “It is quite clear that there won’t be a takeover of Air Berlin by a single airline,” Deputy Economy Minister Matthias Machnig told German media group Funke. “This is necessary and correct for antitrust and competitive reasons,” he added.